GANGTOK, Jan 30: This one's a first for Sikkim. Local farmers at Lachung have managed to grow a radish that weighs a record-breaking 10 kg. The proud farmer, Mrs Aie Phuti Lachungpa, pulled off the feat at Lachung in North Sikkim. “I've grown radishes weighing on an average as much as 5-6 kg. But, this is a welcome surprise,” Mrs Lachungpa said. "We used the same compost that we usually do but what could have made a difference is the late harvest. We dug it up nearly a month late than we should have. Possibly, that gave it the time to grow so big," she said.
“This is a proud moment for Sikkim. We're planning to hand over this radish to the state agriculture department so that it can be preserved," Mr Tshering Dorjee Lachungpa, Mrs Lachungpa's younger brother, said. “We regularly grow a large organic Tibetan variety of turnip but due to the lack of concern on part of the agriculture department, don't have any records to show," he said.
Lachung is where radish, cabbage, potato and turnip are grown on a large scale and which supplies the vegetables and roots to Siliguri and other parts of North Bengal.
When contacted, agriculture department's secretary Mr Mr R Telang said: "So far, we have not received any information (about the radish). But the growers may take part in a vegetable competition that will held along with an international flower show in March this year. About 100 village farmers have entered the competition and the first prize is Rs 2.5 lakh,” he said. In 2003, a farmer at Namchi in south Sikkim had grown a pumpkin weighing nearly 75 kg.